First of all, Cuddly Shark is a brilliant name, therefor to pull off such a name, your band has to be pretty great too. Good thing that Cuddly Shark manage it then. I’ve had this album a few weeks, and it that time it’s had plenty of listens, but as is the way with me it has taken this long for me to get round to writing up a review.
Cuddly Shark caught my attention earlier this year with a trio of very promising singles, some tracks from them make a reappearance here on the album, so I was rather looking forwards to hearing this self titled debut album.
Right from the off the album grabs you and yells in your face, opening track Bowl of Cherries is all thrashy, shouty vocals and even – hurrah – hand claps. I’m a sucker for hand claps, ever since Kenickie released Come Out 2Nite.
From there on in the album is packed with fantastic riffs, razor sharp lyrics and most of all a massive sense of humour, at time the lyrics are so tongue in cheek it’s amazing anyone can actually sing them.
Influences are worn of sleeves, but Cuddly Shark have so many different influences that throwing them all together brings out something quite special.
It isn’t all manic riffs and shouted vocals either, the band switch things up often enough to keep things from getting stale, showing on Whiteoaks that they can be tender as well as tongue in cheek, and throwing in a cover of old country song Boney Fingers for good measure.
Along with all that this album contains both my favourite celebrity diss of the year with “Jamie Foxx on Later With Jools Holland”, and my favourite sweary moment of the year on last single “The Sheriff of Aspen Bay”.
AND there’s an old fashioned hidden track at the end.
Brilliant stuff quite frankly. Cuddly Shark are clearly having a fantastic time on this record, and so am I.
The album might not have been out for long, but it has already forced it’s way into my favourites of 2009.
As a wee sampler here’s Cuddly Jim, which was a b-side to The Sheriff of Aspen Bay single. I’m picking this instead of something from the album because (a) it is fab, and the album tracks can be heard on MySpace and (b) it’s got my name in it, obviously.